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LIVING IN DENMARK

EXPLAINED: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2021

Here's what changes in Denmark in September and how it could affect you.

EXPLAINED: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2021
People dancing in Copenhagen's Culture Box club, which opens on Wednesday for a four-day party. Photo: Daniel Liversage/Culture Box

Nightclubs and discos to reopen — some for first time since March 2020 

Wednesday will be a huge day for Denmark’s clubbers, with many nightclubs and discos opening their doors for the first time since they were closed down in March, 2020, ending one of the last restrictions still in place in Denmark. 

The Copenhagen super-club Culture Box is celebrating with a four-day “reopening weekend” which will run from Wednesday evening until battered revellers emerge blinking into the sunlight at 8am on Sunday morning (the nighclub will, however, close at 8am every morning).    

The Sigurdsgade nightclub in Nørrebro is waiting until Friday night for its own Åbnings Fest party. 

Bakken in the city’s Kødbyen meatpacking district will be open from Wednesday night into the small hours of Sunday morning. 

In Aarhus, the Kupé nightclub opens on Wednesday night. 

“After 19 months of party prison we are finally set free. Free to party, meet new people, have fun, dance, kiss and create a lot of lovely memories!” the club wrote on its Facebook page. 

In Odense, the Slagteriet nightclub will open on Saturday for what the club calls “a true Slagteriet classic”. 

Until September 10th, when Denmark will no longer classify Covid-19 as “dangerous to society”, anyone visiting a nightclub will need to show a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection). 

As Denmark dropped its 1m distance recommendations for public places in mid-August, there will be no additional restrictions on how many people can go on the dance floor or how close people can sit at tables. 

End to 2am closing times for bars and restaurants 

From September 1st, the ban on bars and restaurants staying open later than 2am will be removed, as will the ban on shops selling alcohol after 2am. 

Coronapas dropped for bars and restaurants 

From September 1st, it will no longer be required to show a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection), to sit indoors in restaurants and bars. 

Coronapas dropped for gyms and fitness centres

From September 1st, it will no longer be required to have a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection), to attend a gym or fitness centre in Denmark. 

Athletic Progression, SPOT festival 2019. Photo: Scanpix

The return of music festivals at full scale 

On August 15th, as many as 10,000 visitors were permitted at outdoor events with a standing public, so long as they were divided into sections of 2,500 people. From September 1st, even this limit will be dropped, as will the requirement for attendees to show a valid coronapas (or negative test result, proof of vaccination or immunity due to prior infection). 

With Roskilde and Smukfest respectively cancelling and downscaling their events, Aarhus’s Spot Festival on September 16th is one of the few festivals to take advantage of the end of restrictions. 

Covid-19 no longer classed as ‘critical threat to society’ from September 10th

From September 10th, Covid-19 will no longer be classed as a “critical threat to society”, or samfundskritisk sygdom, a disease which threaten the functions of society as a whole, by for instance, overwhelming the health system, meaning the government will lose the legal powers to impose bans on people gathering, demands for Covid-19 passes, and demands for face masks.

Covid-19 was first rated a samfundskritisk sygdom on March 10th last year, meaning it is being downgraded after one and a half months. Covid-19 will continue to be rated an alment farlig sygdom, “dangerous to public health”, and a “smitsom sygdom”, an infectious disease, both of which give the government and health authorities additional powers to test people and collect and share health data. 

A queue at the Falck rapid test centre at Gigantium in Aalborg back in April. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Continued reduction in Covid-19 testing capacity in Denmark 

From September 1st, Denmark will downscale its capacity for PCR tests from 170,000 to 100,000, and from September 13th, it will halve its capacity for rapid tests from 200,000 to 100,000, according to the timeline from the Danish Critical Supplies Agency

    As part of the downscaling, the government will drop its requirement that all Danish citizens have a Covid-19 test facility within 20km of where they live, and many test centres will be closed. 

    Denmark’s Covid-19 support packages for businesses come to an end 

    September 2021 is the last month for which businesses that have lost more than 30 percent of their turnover compared to the corresponding month in 2019 can apply for government support to cover their fixed costs

    Opt-in Covid-19 vaccination scheme ends 

    The opt-in scheme enabling people in Denmark to receive the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19 comes to an end on September 1st.

    The scheme allowed a private company, Practio, to administer the two vaccines outside of the national vaccination programme. Vaccination under the scheme required approval following a medical consultation.

    Denmark pulled the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines from its national programme earlier this year due to concerns over very rare but serious side effects.

    The country’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continues.

    READ ALSO: Will people in Denmark who got the Johnson & Johnson jab get booster shots?

    Brits in Denmark born between 1980-1984 should apply for permanent residency 

    The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration has advised Brits living in Denmark who were born between 1980 and 1984 to send in their applications for permanent residency in September.

    The agency said in an open letter published in December that it wanted to stagger the applications to avoid a surge which would overwhelm its staff. However, the dates given were only a request and British residents who have applied ahead of the recommended time have had their applications handled as normal

    You apply for residency at the New in Denmark page. 

    New EU energy labels come in for lights in Denmark 

    From September 1st, new EU energy labelling for lamps and lighting will come into force in Denmark, with all lighting products labelled from A++ (the most efficient) to E (the least efficient).

    New wage subsidy scheme for 50+ long-term unemployed comes into force 

    From September 1st, businesses and public agencies which give work to long-term unemployed people over the age of 50 will benefit from a subsidy of 140.40 kroner per hour if they are in the private sector and 102.90 kroner an hour if they are in the public sector. The scheme, which expires in on December 31st 2022, is intended to help citizens deemed at particular risk of long-term unemployment during the Covid-19 crisis. 

    Businesses to be hit with higher fines for workplace accidents and safety failings  

    A new Workplace Environment act comes into force on September 1st, which increases the fines businesses founding infringing health and safety rules, and doubles the fine they will receive if these failings result in serious personal injury or death, with fines increased further in aggravating circumstances or in repeated cases

    The new act was the result of a political agreement reached between Denmark’s political parties in April 2019, under the previous Liberal Party government. 

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    For members

    HEALTH

    What are the rules on accessing the UK health service if you live in Denmark?

    If you're British and live in Denmark you will previously have been registered with the National Health Service, but once you move abroad things change - here's what this means for accessing UK healthcare both on a regular basis and if you have an accident or fall sick while on a visit back to the UK.

    What are the rules on accessing the UK health service if you live in Denmark?

    The NHS is described by the British government as a “residence-based health service” which means that if you don’t live in the UK you’re not automatically entitled to NHS care, even if you are a British citizen and even if you still pay tax in the UK.

    However funding, access and care rules can vary depending on your circumstances.

    Moving to Denmark

    All persons who are registered as resident in Denmark and have been issued with a personal registration number are entitled to all public health services.

    In some cases, you can also use Denmark’s public health system if you are not a permanent or temporary resident of the country.

    Here’s how to go about accessing Denmark’s health system after arriving in the country.

    Denmark’s health services included under the public health system provide you with a family doctor or GP as well as free specialist consultations and treatments under the national health system, should you be referred for these.

    It should be noted that, as previously reported by The Local, foreign nationals can experience extended waiting times on residence applications in Denmark. Since they may not have automatic access to the public health system during this time, some decide to take out private health insurance to cover the waiting period.

    READ ALSO: Applying for residency in Denmark: Why you might need health insurance during processing period

    Can I stay registered with my UK GP?

    No, you need to have a local address to be registered with an NHS GP. In practice, many people don’t get around to telling their GP that they have moved and so stay registered for months or even years, but technically you should notify your GP so that you can be removed from the NHS register. 

    Even if you do remain registered with a UK GP, they won’t be able to issue prescriptions for you in Denmark as most UK GPs are not licensed to practice outside the UK – therefore are not covered by insurance.

    If you are on regular medication it may be possible for your GP to issue you with an advance stock of medication to cover you while you get settled in Denmark, but many prescriptions are limited to a maximum of three months.

    What about travelling outside Denmark?

    Once you’re registered in the Danish system you will be able to get a European health insurance card, the blå EU-sygesikringskort (blue EU health insurance card).

    This covers medical care while on trips in Europe and basically the same as the EHIC you might have had while you were registered in the UK but it’s not issued automatically, you have to request it.

    You must have legal residence in Denmark and be a resident of an EU country or the UK, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein to be eligible for the card in Denmark. The UK is included here under an agreement with the EU following Brexit. The card can be applied for here.

    If travelling outside of Europe – for example, a holiday in the US – you need to ensure that you have travel insurance with full medical cover in case of any mishaps while abroad. 

    What about trips back to the UK?

    Although your day-to-day healthcare may be covered by the Danish system, there’s still the possibility or falling sick or having an accident while on a trip back to the UK. 

    The Danish blue EU health insurance card covers all trips in the EU and European Economic Area, as well as Switzerland and the UK.

    The card covers essential treatments that you receive while in the UK but not those which medical personnel deem can wait until you return home.

    If you are charged for medical care while in the UK because you do not have a UK address, and think you should have been covered by the blue health card, you can apply for the costs to be refunded after you return to Denmark.

    In practice, most UK nationals who need to use the NHS while on trips back to the UK report that no-one ever thinks to ask whether they are UK residents.

    Some Brits living in Denmark may keep their registration with a UK GP and make regular trips back to get prescriptions, but while this can happen in practice it does involve lying or at least being economical with the truth about where you live.

    Emergency care

    There are certain types of NHS care that are not charged for, such as A&E treatment or treatment from paramedics, but if you need to be admitted to hospital you may have to pay.

    NHS hospitals won’t turn you away if you cannot prove residency, but they may present you with a bill when you leave if you cannot prove either residency or health cover in a European country.

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